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Monday, May 25, 2015

Book Review: Land of My Heart (Heirs of Montana) by Tracie Peterson

When Dianne Chadwick’s father is killed during an altercation in front of his store as conflict between the north and south rises, she and her mother decide to move their family to Montana. They believe it will keep their boys away from the civil war conflict. But the attempt to bring safety and security is short lived when Trenton the eldest chooses to join Confederate rebels in order to avenge his father’s death and the family’s trip by wagon train brings with it unspeakable tragedy. The love interests in this are Cole Selby a wagon train scout and Diane.

 The first book sets up events to happen in the series. After reading this book I have a new appreciation for the risks people took to travel across Indian inhabited lands where they risked everything to start a new life. The descriptions of Montana make me want to see the country I have never seen. I also appreciate the fair treatment Peterson gives of the Indians  (there are both good and bad).  However, I didn’t find the characters as fleshed out as I would have liked which made it difficult to really feel for them. More internal monologue may have helped.  Still, this Christian romance is a good story if you like prairie romances. 3 out of 5 stars.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Book Review: 1929, Book One (The 1929 Series) by M. L. Gardener

When the stock market crashes in 1929 it crushes the wealthy lifestyles of three young couples whose lives are intertwined. This riches to rags story captured my interest and I hung in there for the entire book because it started off well. Jonathan Garrett the husband of one of the couples feels responsibility for their circumstances as it was his brokerage firm that they had all invested in.

With scarcely more than the clothes on their backs they leave everything behind and secure apartments in shabby tenements of a ruthless landlord who already has ties to the Garretts. He's a villain right out of a melodrama. The story held my interest for maybe the first third of the book despite the ridiculous premise that three couples would stay together and work together rather than go their separate ways.
And though Gardener introduces conflict through adversity, Victor the landlord, and Elise, a French prostitute from Jonathan's past, it just isn't enough. The story drags on an on as we hop from one character's head to another (too many points of view) and we must trudge through mundane chapters with scarcely any plot advancement.

There's also a lot of telling rather than showing what happens which does nothing to make this more interesting. I kept reading, not because it was captivating, but I really did want to know how they got out of their situation. I don' t want to ruin the end for you, but if you want a page turner, this is not going to be it and I am definitely not going to read any further in this series.  I give it 3 out of 5 stars.